My number one most popular tutorial from last year described the process of creating a trendy retro cityscape in Photoshop. The design we’ll be creating is based on the theme of a mountain and uses a landscape photo to create an abstract layout that would work perfectly as a retro style album cover.
Add guides to identify the centre of the document then paste and scale the circular selection to fill a large portion of the design. Create a new Curves adjustment layer in the Layers palette and change the drop down menu to the Red channel.
Change the drop down menu to the Blue channel then adjust the lower point to crop the shadows inwards towards the first grid point.
Switch back to the full RGB channel and adjust the curve profile to a smooth convex line, thus brightening the image in the midtones. Duplicate the Curves adjustment layer in the Layers palette but reduce the opacity of this new copy to 60%. Download a cool grungy film texture from LostandTaken and paste it into the main design document.
Change the blending mode of the film texture to Screen to render the black areas transparent, then adjust the shadows and midtones markers in the Levels window (CMD+L) to darken the image and tone down the distressing effect. Change the blending mode of the stroke outline layer to Screen and reduce its opacity to 30% to give it a more of a subtle border effect.
Select the Rectangular marquee tool and hold Alt while dragging out a selection from the centre of the document. Butt up each line to the previous then hold the Shift key while nudging with the keyboard cursor keys to set an exact amount of spacing between each line, then group all the elements and align them centrally. Turn off the visibility of the text elements group, then click the Create Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to clip the background selection to the outline of the text. The final artwork boasts a kind of collage effect with the various elements being created from clippings of the same background photo, then the addition of colour adjustment layers and distressing textures all help give the design a trendy retro album sleeve appearance. Access All Areas members gain instant access to 100s of premium design resources & source files. Thanks for another great tutorial, I loved the last one with the Go Kart Race, I actually did it and put my own spin on it. Before creating the layer mask you should be sure to have the cropped background layer selected because if no layer is selected the layer mask cannot be created. A fleet of 60 Volvo road-building machines is being used to construct a 140km (87 mile) highway across the Andes Mountains, from Bucaramanga, Colombia’s eighth largest city, to Cucuta on the border – providing the country with a much-needed high-speed link with Venezuela.


Tasked with this mammoth undertaking is innovative Colombian highway contractor MHC, a company with a long track record of overcoming huge civil engineering challenges – often in extremely hazardous conditions.
These dangers are not restricted to working in the mountainous terrain that is typical of Colombia’s topography, but also in areas where the country’s guerilla groups are active. MHC’s president Mario Huertas Cotes has been a supporter of Volvo Construction Equipment since he first purchased six second-hand Volvo 861 haulers in 1982.
Not only does the company have a well-considered attitude to equipment; it is also adept at handling the sensitive issue of working in remote and potentially dangerous parts of the country, where notorious guerilla groups operate. With the security situation in Colombia now much improved, the $400-million Andes highway project is just one of the many new construction contracts up for grabs – although it is certainly one of the most ambitious. As if building 140km of highway weren’t challenging enough, altitudes range from 900m above sea level up to 3,600m (12,000ft). MHC has taken full responsibility for the design and construction management of the highway, including all bridges and tunnels – a job made harder by the need to keep the existing road open throughout the build. To give a perspective of the task, over 350,000m3 (12,360,133ft?) of earth has to be moved per kilometer (per 0.62 miles) of road, making this an enormous earthmoving project. Clippings of the original photo are used to make up the layout of the design, then a range of color adjustments and textures are added to give the artwork that classic retro style. Add a slight bend to the curves graph to increase the reds in the shadows and very subtly decrease them in the highlights. CMD-click the thumbnail of the circular clipping layer to load its selection, then add a Levels adjustment layer.
Right click on the canvas with the Marquee tool to open up the fly out menu and choose the Transform Selection option. Don’t forget to hold Shift to constrain the proportions to avoid squashing or stretching the text. Move this layer above the circular layer but below the adjustment layers, then press CMD+Shift and click the thumbnails of the various text layers to load their selections. Even though they should now be museum pieces, these same machines from the 1970s are still working and have logged more than 60,000 hours. The existing road between Bacaramanga and Cucuta is narrow, single-tracked, steep and extremely slow-going, with average speeds of only 20km (12 miles) per hour.
The steepness of the road will need to be reduced to a maximum incline of 7.5% (currently it is up to 18%) and the road leveled out.
Several of the bridges are long span – four are over 120m (394ft), while one is 640m (2,100ft) with columns 80m (262ft) high, making it one of the tallest in the country.


Added to that, stabilizing the steep slopes of the road is also crucial, especially so in Colombia’s rainy climate where landslides are commonplace. Huertas has managed his family company through some of the most difficult times in Colombia’s modern history. Follow this step by step Photoshop tutorial to manipulate a landscape photo with various color adjustments and lay out a typographic quote to create a retro style landscape design. Download the Super sized version and crop the photo into a square format to capture the main mountain peak. Go to Image > Image Size and scale down the super sized image to a more suitable document, this will allow the circular selection to be pasted back in at a larger proportion to the rest of the image. Now into its fourth generation of family members, MHC has become one of the preeminent highway contractors in Colombia, with over 900 employees and $600 million of contracts – and Volvo has been with them along the way. This will shorten the present route by 20km (12 miles) – and reduce travel times from Bucaramanga to Cucuta from today’s six hours to a speedy 2.5 hours. The remaining eight bridges range from 40 to 100m (131 to 328ft) in length – there are also over 1,000m (3,280ft) of tunnels being constructed. These same slopes put heavy demands on the transmissions of construction equipment, and the high altitude requires adjustment in the treatment of the biodiesel (the use of biodiesel is a must for government projects). Now with a full order book and his 28-year-old son, Esteban, working as managing director for the Bucaramanga-Cucuta project, the company is moving into its eighth decade and fourth generation with great optimism.
At its peak MHC will have up to 1,700 people working at the site (there are currently 400).
Fortunately, all MHC’s newer Volvos are protected by customer support agreements that require local Volvo dealer Chaneme to provide preventative maintenance, consumables and repairs, all conducted on site.
This, combined with sustained economic recovery after years of strife and recession, creates a bright future for South America’s second most populous country.
The areas of Colombia where we operate are often poor, and we provide much-needed jobs and incomes, as well as buying local resources.



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